I always swore that my next house would have no kitchen since I appear to lacking in the culinary arts. However, I do support this kind of a remodel.
Looking for great Christmas gifts? Our two new releases are an excellent choice.
FIGURING SH!T OUT: LOVE, LAUGHTER, SUICIDE, AND SURVIVAL…what an amazing book. Beautifully written, and a lovely gift to anyone who’s looking to, well, figure sh!t out.
Michelle said this in her Amazon review:
“Highly recommend this book to everyone. It is a powerful read from start to finish, a gift of the heart from the author to readers. This is the kind of book that permanently changes one and then leads to bulk purchases to give to friends. It is that special. It is also heart wrenching and hilarious, profound and delightfully profane, insightful and inspirational. Most of all it is gift of raw honesty, grief, courage, faith, grace and a life-saving sense of humor. While I do not know the author I knew her late husband Chris years ago and know that he was an extraordinarily gifted person in many ways. Chris was brilliant and generous with the heart of a saint. His passing makes no sense, and the author helps us understand that it never does and never will, `tis the nature of mental illness, which needs to be brought into the light for greater understanding. Chris’s gifts live on in Amy and through their three children (as well as in this and his own books of spiritual triumph). The author, whose brilliance and writing I have come to treasure, has generously opened her heart to share that love and discernment. Namaste.”
FINDING DAD: FROM “LOVE CHILD” TO DAUGHTER is about following your heart, even when it makes no sense, forgiveness, and fatherlessness.
A. Raymond said this in his Amazon review:
“I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I watch Kara Sundlun on TV and knew of her story. Having always loved tales of family reunions I ordered a copy as soon as I could. It’ s a great read! Kara showed amazing grit and determination, especially for a teen, in pursuing her father insisting that he acknowledge her but even more importantly that he be part of her life. Theirs is truly a love story for the ages. The fact that he was a wealthy Governor who lived in a world she probably had never even dreamed of made the story that much more fascinating. I was also more than impressed with her sensitivity to her mother who had raised her as a single parent yet was supportive of Kara’s need to connect with the father she had never known. If any aspect of this story interests you, read the book – you will not be disappointed.”
Click here to watch Kara’s powerful interview on HUFFPO LIVE.
Lots of stories – fiction and nonfiction – have characters who undergo some sort of change. Like in real life, characters don’t normally experience something and punch through on the other side completely unaffected. Those experiences (basically the plot of your story) is what alters their way of looking at themselves and the world around them.
In a writer’s perfect world, the character’s evolution and plot resolution come together like the Rescue Beagles and margaritas. But there are times when stories become unbalanced, and one overtakes the other. When this happens, it’s because the literary ignition switch is in the OFF position.
Sure sure, I see you scratching your head and cursing me for being confusing – so let me offer an example. I recently read a story about a man who lost his father and decides to go on a surfing Walkabout. Totally get that…when something horrible happens, escaping the confines of the everyday can be an attractive solution. The problem was that the author spent most of his time in his own head with long lyrical and esoteric passages of talking to nature and the waves, asking for answers – but he never fully developed the relationship between him and his father – his humor, his wisdom, his love for his son, and sadness knowing he was dying. The result was that I couldn’t appreciate the author’s sense of loss; the achingly long narratives; or the journey itself. In fact, there was very little attention paid to the actual physicality of the surf Walkabout, so he could have easily stayed home and knit toilet paper doilies, replacing the surf and sand for knitting needles.
In this case, the key wasn’t even in the ignition, and the action was AWOL.
If you’re going to take some sort of action (walkabout, live on a boat, join the Hari Krishnas/join a group of space trash collectors) due to an igniting experience (divorce/death/threat to world peace/alien invasion), then it’s vital readers understand how influential the ignition and action are in altering you/your character’s life.
When writers strike a perfect balance between cause and effect/affect – ignition/action, then I can happily follow them into the depths of hell because I get it. I feel what they’re going through, so I’m silently sobbing/cheering them on to find their happy place, and I appreciate the lengths they went through (walkabout, live on a boat, join the Hari Krishnas/join a group of space trash collectors) to find equanimity. It’s impossible to have one without the other. Write without the ignition in the ON position, and your readers will toss your book against a wall.
How about your story? Is your literary ignition is on? If so, how? Is your character’s inner journey in balance with the plot?
As a So Cal gal, Spring came with my having never really paid much attention because all the seasons are pretty much the same. Oh, we may have the occasional rain or wind, but for the most part, our seasons pass without fanfare. ”
“Duuude, the waves are gnarly, wanna hit the beach?” That’s when we know it’s Summer. Or Fall. Or Spring.
“Duuude, had to put on a hoodie over my t-shirt and shorts.” That’s when we know it’s Winter.
My trial by fire in Pittsburgh has been a delicious ride. Snow! Rain! Weather! Hell yes, baby! No more getting away with a hoodie over my t-shirt and shorts. No, siree. I’m thinking in layers these days. Sweatshirt, jacket, scarf, hat, hood, mittens…in between mutters of “holy grits and weenies, it’s cold outside!” Takes me a half hour to get dressed, only to remember that I need to go pee.
So the arrival of Spring yesterday brought promise of warmer weather. Tossing off the coats. Skipping through the yard with sandals. Um. Yeah. Got 1.5 inches of snow, instead.
Looking outside, the snow has all but melted, and replaced it with a sense of renewal. I know those little flower buds are eager to belt their bad selves out of the ground and make the world all gorgeous. Even the Rescue Beagles seem more eager to sing the song of their people by baying at every moving particle that floats past their window.
So it’s with that sense of renewal that we bid adieu to our beloved Pittsburgh and head for our next adventure in…Burlington, Iowa. Where, you say, scratching your head as you google Mapquest. Yah, it’s right on the Mississippi River. In the middle of nowhere. It’s a quaint little town that’s home to some burgeoning new projects, one of which the hubs is on for the next couple of years. Wow. We’ve been Westies, then Easties. Now we’re going to be Mid-Westies. There’s symmetry in being a part of all the major food groups.
It’s funny in a way. Most of my friends are looking at retirement in the somewhat-near future, settling down, looking at ocean cruises to Mexico and Alaska, yet the hubs and I feel like we’re just getting warmed up. Oh, we’ll return to California when we retire, and the kids start sprouting grandkids. But for now, it’s fun to see new things, and meet new people. So I guess you could say my life is stuck in Spring mode – even in the dead of December…or end of March.
Spring is about newness and getting all twitterpated about wonderful possibilities. So it’s no small wonder that I’m editing two fabulous new books that are scheduled to come out in the Fall. Hoo boy, talk about excited.
Amy Biancolli’s sense of humor is so deliciously dry and witty, that I find myself routinely gasping for air in between gusts of laughter. FIGURING SHIT OUT: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival is destined to be one of those books that people talk about in the grocery line, or the bank (does anyone go to the bank anymore?), where someone is guffawing, “I’m telling you, this book is hysterical.”
The inciting moment is anything but funny, but Amy looks at life through a different lens, and it’s refreshing and honest. We aren’t issued a set of Life Instructions when we’re born. The Cosmic Muffin sits back and pats us on the head and says, “Sorry, but you’re gonna have to figure Life out on your own.” Amy’s take on life is like putting a sprig of mint in my tea.
Connecticut is lucky because they have Kara Sundlun as their morning wake-up call on her show Better Connecticut. But we’re all lucky because in November, we’ll have her fascinating book FINDING DAD: Love Child to Daughter. Kara discovered she was the love child of her mother and Rhode Island’s governor, Bruce Sundlun, and made the tough decision to meet him…even though he didn’t want to. And it all played out in the media. And you thought you had it tough?
In so many ways, Kara had to be the bigger person and meet her father nearly 80% of the way. But what happened because of her decisions is what makes me believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Leprechauns, and unicorns. Human nature is a funny thing, and where I would have tossed in my towel and punched out, Kara hung in there, and ended up with exactly what she’d always dreamed of.
So happy Spring to y’all. Hope it doesn’t snow on your parade. But if it does, go read a good book. A Behler book. I guarantee that you’ll walk away muttering, “I wish it’d snow, so I can read more.”
Major huzzah to our beautiful author, Heidi Cave, with her TV interview on Global BC in Canada. She is the perfect example of why we don’t act like idiots behind the wheel. Slow down, relax, and enjoy the ride. Be a survivor, not a victim.